On Muslim Women’s Day — of all days — a Pennsylvania lawmaker had the audacity to use religion and prayer as a means to carry out her bigoted views. The lawmaker in question, Rep. Borowicz, folded her hands and prayed to God for “forgiveness,” as a Muslim women prepared to be sworn into office.
Can we say petty? State Rep. Stephanie Borowicz’s little prayer mentioned Jesus 13 times, and praised Donald Trump. A number of House Democrats have spoken out against Borowicz’s impromptu display of disrespect.
Borowicz, clearly missing the point and context, defended her actions by saying, “I pray like this everyday..I will never apologize for praying.” I note, no one is asking for an apology, nor are we asking for anyone to stop praying. Rather, we are asking you check your Islamophobic, bigoted, and divisive rhetoric at the door!
The issue, Representative Borowicz, is not in the act of prayer. Let’s make it clear — Jesus and religion are not the issue at hand. Using religious figures, divisive politics, and religion in general, as an outlet for emotionally charged insecure beliefs is the real root of the problem. Borowicz’s attempt to mask her own insecurities and opinions as prayers is incredibly problematic to all people of faith.
American leadership must ensure that religious doctrines and practices — in particular ones that span beyond an individual level — are not practiced in political procedures. This way, we as a country, can pave paths for inclusivity, and most importantly, some respect.
That being said, I would like to end with a little prayer of my own:
“Dear God, we would like to take this moment to seek your forgiveness for all the bigotry and ignorance that has worked its way into U.S. politics. We look to you, God, to help us implement a true separation of church and state. We look to You to help a misguided Representative Borowicz get over her misguided fear of a Muslim lawmaker. We ask You to help her move past her flagrant bigotry, although it may be too much to ask. Amen!”